The Saudi Pro League has become quite popular since Cristiano Ronaldo said in December 2022 that he would be moving his talents to Al Nassr. Numerous well-known athletes, like Neymar, Benzema, Mane, Firmino, Kante, and many more, have flocked to CR7 for a “new opportunity” that just so occurred to triple their present salaries. There were several well-known players that declined the money in order to continue their search for titles in Europe, even if many names did migrate to the Middle East. Fortunately for Tottenham Hotspur supporters, star defender Cristian Romero was one of many who resisted the PIF’s offer of mind-blowing money.
Romero was one of many Argentinian players who were asked to move to Saudi Arabia after winning the World Cup last year, according to a tweet from TyC Sports, an Argentine sports television network. Losing the 25-year-old would have been a major blow to Tottenham’s defense, especially with reports that Eric Dier is on the way out because he is no longer in Ange Postecoglou’s future plans.
This is not the first time a star wearing the Lillywhite home uniform has turned down a Saudi club. Hueng Min-Son, the captain of Tottenham, turned down a summer transfer request and decided to stay with the team he has called home since joining from a German side, Bayer Leverkusen in 2015.
Aside from the fact that losing Romero would undoubtedly give rival clubs more chances to score against Spurs, particularly with the new offensive strategy that Postecoglou introduced this season and which supporters have dubbed “Ange Ball,” the trend in club football toward valuing money over passion and trophies is one that is continuing to gain traction.
While most players moving to the SPL are older superstars past their peak, players of all ages and potential are now leaving their current team in search of a huge payout. Many European clubs were interested in signing Gabriel Veiga, 21, but he decided to sign with Al Ahli instead for an unknown sum.
It is assumed that the transfer fee must have been quite considerable if Veiga’s current club, Celta Vigo, permitted his departure.
Toni Kroos, a former Real Madrid player, commented on the agreement on football journalist Fabrizio Romano’s Instagram post, calling it “embarrassing.” Kroos is not the first player to publicly criticize the nascent league, but he seems to have had some strong views about a player making the move at such a young age.
Will we continue to see well-known young people choose to settle for a larger wage instead of a bigger trophy case as teams in Saudi Arabia continue to snag more and more talent?